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Very few cities in developing countries have proper facilities for disposing of solid and human waste. Because cities generate so much of both, this is a huge problem to people’s health and the pleasure of living in a city



We paid a visit to the municipal dump of the city of Guaiba, in Brazil, and saw the people who make a living from sorting the waste. It might seem impossible that people can survive on waste. But of the 40,000 kg of waste thrown away each day in Guaiba alone, 70% could be recycled. Twenty per cent could be used as compost. So, if it was properly sorted, only 10% of the waste would end up in the dustbin. We are making a campaign, called “Clean City”. In this way we will improve the life quality for all in Guaiba and contribute to preventing the pollution of soil and underground water. Rubbish concerns us all!
Niños Periodistas, F. Canez & C. Rodriguez, Guaiba, Brazil

click picture to enlarge

Eco-Task Force, Patna, India


600,000 tons of waste is thrown out in Mexico City every month – enough to fill the vast Aztec football stadium FOUR TIMES!
Alexander Bain School, Mexico


In most towns in Zambia, to wake up in the morning, open your window and take a long sniff of that supposedly lovely morning air is a dangerous thing to do – unless you have a gas mask or a blindfold – because both the smell and sight are not pleasant. We are talking about garbage! It is everywhere (except for the richest areas). It is in the homes, streets, schools, parks and work places. You find children playing over it, looking for things to use as toys; you find animals scavenging in it, and hungry people looking in it for a bite to eat. The garbage is never collected properly. It sits and rots and steams and people have to pass through it. Time and again we complain to our government but they say they have no money and no machinery. In the rainy season, disease spreads fast from the garbage heaps – cholera, dysentery. It is so unhealthy, even migratory birds have stopped visiting us. Something has to be done: there should be laws against throwing unsorted rubbish into the streets; more garbage bins should be provided; low rent districts should have proper garbage collection; recycling plants should be built and the people should be educated about the dangers of garbage. Zambia is a very lovely place but, unless we take action, it will soon be just one big heap of garbage!
Regina Mwansa, Zambia

web site editor: webmaster@grida.no Last update: March 2000